With the new year comes a new legislative session beginning Jan. 13. Your Marysville-Tulalip community leaders regularly meet with elected officials in Olympia about state funding priorities. Here are some highlights for 2020 and beyond.
City of Marysville
City leaders have prioritized these three projects for state funding requests:
ν156th Street NE Railroad Overcrossing: The city requests $17.7 million to build an elevated roadway overcrossing the BNSF mainline tracks at 156th Street NE just west of I-5. This would replace a former at-grade crossing that was closed about 20 years ago and offer expanded access to the Lakewood-area residents and businesses.
νEbey Waterfront Trail: The city requests $500,000 to secure right-of-way needed to build the next and final phase of this urban trail. A 1.28-mile trail section along the dike through the Ebey Estuary would connect the First Street Bypass area with the existing trail in the Sunnyside area. When complete, the Ebey Waterfront Trail will have nearly six miles of fully connected trails.
νGrove Street Overcrossing: The city requests $24 million to build an elevated roadway over the railroad tracks on Grove Street between State and Cedar avenues. Routing traffic away from the railroad crossing would help alleviate congestion and increase east-west connectivity downtown.
These two projects are already designated for state funding. City leaders will continue to stress the importance of these transportation improvements to Marysville residents, businesses and quality of life.
νI-5/Marine View Drive to SR 528 Lane and Interchange: This State of Washington project will extend the HOV lane from north Everett to SR 528 (4th Street) and build a new freeway interchange connecting with SR 529 in south Marysville, adding vehicle capacity and avoiding railroad crossing delays. The project is expected to go to bid in mid-2020 with construction in 2021 and completion in 2022.
νI-5/156th Street Interchange: Building on the city’s construction of an overpass at 156th Street NE, this project would build a full freeway interchange about one mile south of Smokey Point to serve the growing Cascade Industrial Center and Lakewood retail centers. The project was selected for state funding in 2015 through the Connecting Washington package with disbursement of funds beginning in 2025.
Marysville School District
School board legislative representatives regularly participate in advocacy opportunities both locally and at the Federal level to advocate for fair and equal funding for their local school districts. This includes participation at the annual Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA) conference and attendance at legislative workshops including the Federal Relations Network institute in February. School board director Chris Nation has served in the role of legislative representative for the school board on and off for the past several years and most recently board director Pete Lundberg was appointed to serve in 2020. Director Nation is also starting his fourth year of service on the WSSDA legislative committee.
The Marysville School District believes that providing a free public education that provides for the educational, social, emotional, mental health, and diverse needs of every student served is a fundamental human right. The Legislature must take a close look at the negative impacts to districts such as Marysville caused by the funding structure. To this end, the Marysville School District Board of Directors annually review and set legislative priorities. For the coming year, the Board will consider WSSDA’s priorities as they address the concerns that our district has continued to advocate for: fair and equitable school funding, local levy authority, and mental health supports.
“These priorities address the educational challenges and life struggles that our young scholars face every day,” says Director Chris Nation.
Legislative Representative and Director Pete Lundberg added, “We appreciate and value the efforts of the legislators in the days to come to create a funding system that meets the needs equitably. All of our students deserve nothing less.”
The City of Marysville, Marysville School District and Tulalip Tribes jointly prepare this monthly column about topics of interest to the Marysville Tulalip community.